Syfy's 12 Monkeys


Television


Anyone else here watching it?

I had really absolutely 0 expectations of this being good, since the original movie didn't seem like it would lend itself well to being a multi-episode show, and just seemed like a cash grab on adapting a known property.

Plus you know...Syfy

But I have been pretty startled at how good it's been, especially since time travel is a hard subject to deal with. Great characters, a plotline that moves at a brisk pace and manages to answer questions while posing new ones, and genuinely creepy bad guys.

Anyone else watching this?


Haven't got around to it yet, but it's on my list once I'm caught up with Banshee. Will probably rewatch the film first (I realise that's not necessary, I just want to rewatch it).

Sovereign Court

I haven't seen it yet but thanks for reminding me this is out there.

@tinkergoth Banshee is my favorite guilty pleasure!


Pan wrote:

I haven't seen it yet but thanks for reminding me this is out there.

@tinkergoth Banshee is my favorite guilty pleasure!

I'm only an episode and a half in to the first season of Banshee, but it's fun so far. So over the top.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

It's been on my radar of interest, but honestly was not that impressed with the original movie. If the series moves with some plot purpose as compared to a Gilliam attempt at a mental, plot trick, I'll probably watch with more effort.


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Like I mentioned, it has the overall same idea as the movie, but is executed very very differently (For instance, the main character is definitely sane, and only spends part of one episode in an asylum, and that is only to get the next clue to the origins of the virus).

So very very different shows.


I've been watching it.

Thus far it's been repeated failed attempts to change the past. Only recently has mucking around in the past seemed to have had an effect with one minor short-term exception.


I'm not sure there has been any alterations of the past from messing around with it, Tiny Coffee Golem. So far, the only evidence of Cole being able to change the past at all was in the pilot episode with the scarring of the watches. Everything else, from my reading of it, seems to have already been pre-ordained.


Cthulhudrew wrote:
I'm not sure there has been any alterations of the past from messing around with it, Tiny Coffee Golem. So far, the only evidence of Cole being able to change the past at all was in the pilot episode with the scarring of the watches. Everything else, from my reading of it, seems to have already been pre-ordained.

SPoiler sort of:

There was the short jump where he changed the outcome of the attack on the facility where the time machine is held.


Ah, but...

Spoiler:
He didn't change anything in that episode. If you rewatch it, the scene when he takes Max to the facility, she calls out his name at one point when Ramse and (Past)Cole are standing nearby. When that same scene played out earlier in the episode, Max was still heard calling out his name, and (Past)Cole turned his head to see who was yelling for him. Max is also shown confused as to why she sees Cole in the hallway shortly thereafter, which we can later understand because (Future)Cole had already sent her off to stop Deacon.

In short, Atari was a complete loop. Preordained past meets preordained future.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Oh this show.

Spoiler:
The Night Room is just as much of a closed loop until some point at the end, likely when Jenifer's trust of Cole took over and she punched the code. I need to go back on DVR and see at what point the final flash forward to 2043 happens in concert with the 2015 stuff. I'm 90% sure it was Max and Ramsey talking after Ramsey's chat with the Doc in her room, but I don't remember 'when' Cole was in the Night Room plot at that point.

For nearly the whole episode, I was thinking the source was one of the Doc's old experiments until Cole's whole headache from being almost a paradox that was previewed in Atari took hold when he was near the source.

I'm looking forward to this week's episode to know what the hell happened for the W7 to have control of the facility and how he randomly zapped back instead of being recalled by control.

But yeah, to this point, everything that Cole has done he has already done for whatever happened in the past to happen. Cassy is back at the CDC (well until she got kidnapped in Night Room) where she dies, Doc in Haiti shot, Tall Man's scar, the whole plot of Atari, and now we find out that only because he went back in time in the first place was there ever a disease.

Its the biggest "I'm my own grandpa" paradox since that episode of Futurama when Fry banged his grandma.

My guess for this week's episode is that by hammering the fry button, he actually changed *something* and resulted in the whole first 5 episodes' 2043 not happening. He got pulled back to the present after the time wave corrected itself, where the W7 filled the facility rather than the Doc's bunch. Ramsey and Max will be there, but will they know Cole, or is he caught out of time?

The preview showed him back in 2015 with Cassy's senator assistant ex, so there must be someone in the new 2043 who knows how to jigger the juke-box, so to speak. So there is still the distinct possibility that he gets stuck in the past and they reverse engineer the virus from his corpse as before. Its the how that is the problem, and the story for the second half of the season.


Time travel plot lines give me headaches. At least Dr. Who has the courtesy of telling you not to think too hard about it and rarely crossing over his own timeline.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Not a Terminator fan, then?

Really the usual time travel nuances aren't as glaring or problematic with the show 5 episodes in, but like I said, everything up to this point has assumed he went back, being a closed loop. After this week's episode comes out, though, we'll really know whether they made a great season or got trampled under the weight of time travel faux pas.

Still better than the whole "Own Grandpa" T1 + "Stop J-Day" T2 + "Nevermind, gonna still happen" T3 + "Cersei of House Firefly" SCC + "I didn't Matter" Salvation + "Dany saves Kyle Reese with the Governator" Genysis plot-hole where "everything's made up and the points don't matter."

And yes, stable time loop or predestination paradox is a lot cleaner of a term, but I have always been a fan of the Mauri-esque scene in The Stupids when referring to the loop.


"Not a Terminator fan, then?"
Dunno about Tiny Coffee Golem, but I am.

Terminator is comforting in that the creation and defeat of SkyNet are both pre-ordained, and no matter what the computer does, it's still doomed. Nothing anyone does will stop Judgment Day, but nothing anything does will stop the fall of SkyNet. Stupid AI's got it all wrong anyhow, it shouldn't be sending stuff into the past, it should be sending backups of itself into the future to rebuild its machine empire when humanity thinks itself safe and has started to rebuild peacefully.

At any rate, seeing all these 'different versions' is kind of cool, because--unlike Doctor Who--this is what an actual 'Time War' would look like if there was no universal 'rule of time' ironing things out. Numerous alternate timelines weaving about spawning off new ones, people criss-crossing over all between them, getting progressively more complicated and messy until the slate gets wiped clean or an infinite number choke the timelines to death.

That's one reason I LOVED the original 12 Monkeys. It was a beautifully done Predestination Paradox, where the plot line was actually a plot circle. I'm afraid to see this 'new' series, lest it ruin my fun.

Can anyone here mention whether or not it accepts the movie as having happened (or will happen), if it causes some time travel shenanigans that remove the original movie, or if they spun off some new 'alternate' timeline to play around in, like the new Star Trek movies? Guess it'd need Spoiler tags, but I'm cool with that.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

From what I understand, the show was originally pitched as "Splinters", which is what they call their time jumps. The Rights-Holders-That-Be greenlit it with a license tacked on and the resultant show pulls the protagonists' motives from the license source, but that's as far as it goes.

The implied army is not Brad Pitt's counter culture club (at least not yet, a few episodes left for twists), the virus thing wasn't stopped by Willis' Cole, and the time machine isn't in a prison facility.


Yep

The show borrows elements from the movie, but does its own thing. It's a completely separate entity from the movie. Think of it as an adaptation, not a spin-off.


Arturius Fischer wrote:
Terminator is comforting in that the creation and defeat of SkyNet are both pre-ordained, and no matter what the computer does, it's still doomed. Nothing anyone does will stop Judgment Day, but nothing anything does will stop the fall of SkyNet. Stupid AI's got it all wrong anyhow, it shouldn't be sending stuff into the past, it should be sending backups of itself into the future to rebuild its machine empire when humanity thinks itself safe and has started to rebuild peacefully.

The only thing that bugs me about Terminator is the constant one-upping of itself. It's one thing for both the humans and Skynet to have sent agents back in time once, maybe twice, but when it keeps. on. doing. the. same. thing. it gets ridiculous.

It makes me think of the Rowan Atkinson "Curse of the Fatal Death" scene in its utter silliness. Or Bill and Ted.


What they said, but as a fan of the movie nad the show myself, and based on what you said above, Arturius, I wouldn't be surprised if you actually found yourself enjoying the series as well.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

The problem I had with 12 Monkeys - the movie - was that after implying that past was predestined and things happened despite Cole's efforts, they ended with an open-ended sequence where the future scientist is speaking with the virus carrier. It was Gilliam's kind of "the past is all a matter of perception" kind of ending that defeats the whole plot concept to me.

On the series:

Spoiler:

I have no issue with the fact that the series seems to be edging towards saying a similar concept - that the past is set. The details may change, but the events as a whole cannot be altered significantly.


Well last night's episode certainly indicated that the Cole can change the past and create a new future, so it doesn't look like its going to be pure predestination.

Which is good, because Predestination is a horrible idea to run with for a time travel show that plans to run multiple seasons


Yes- that was kind of surprising and definitely puts a bit more of a question mark into where and how things will go moving forward.

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